‘Stop harming Whales and Dolphins with leftover WWII Bombs!’

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When unexploded bombs and mines in waters around Great Britain are cleared for wind farm developments, the resulting explosions threaten the survival of whales and dolphins and damage marine habitats. This has to stop.

The shattering explosions damage the seabed and harm marine mammals and fish. Most worryingly, noise trauma from large explosions can cause permanent hearing loss in mammals, affecting navigation and communication systems.

In 2011, thirty-nine long-finned pilot whales were found stranded at a beach in the Scottish Highlands. 15 died and 4 were euthanised. This is simply horrendous.

A government investigation into the mass stranding found that a plausible cause was a nearby munitions disposal. Done the existing old-fashioned way, disposals are carried out by literally blowing up the bomb or mine. 

Over 350,000 items of unexploded bombs, shells and munitions lie in British waters today. Many are left over from the First and Second World Wars. These need to be cleared to build new wind farms and there are approximately 50 clearances for this reason every year. It is of course important to find new energy sources to fight climate change, but it shouldn't come at the expense of our whales and dolphins.

While clearances are necessary, the damaging technique is not. 

There’s a new technique called 'deflagration' that involves causing the contents of the explosive to burn out without detonating. Evidence suggests this technique is several hundred times quieter than the current method of clearance.

The Government and wind farm developers must switch to this new technique to protect our marine life and stop needlessly placing marine habitats at risk.

I've been supporting conservation causes for many years, but I was horrified when I heard about this. I felt I just had to do something, and so I have teamed up with a group of charities, Marine Connection, the World Cetacean Alliance and Whale and Dolphin Conservation, to try to put an end to this completely nuts situation.

Please sign now to join with me in saying enough is enough and to stop the needless harming of marine life!

 

Follow the campaign on Twitter: @StopSeaBlasts

Media enquiries: campaign@stopseablasts.org

Photo: Charlie Phillips (2011)